Daily Mindfulness Exercises That You Can Try At Home
Taking care of your body, mind and soul, naturally
WHAT ARE MINDFULNESS EXERCISES AND HOW CAN THEY BENEFIT YOU?
The word ‘mindfulness’ has taken on a big meaning in recent years, particularly as society continues to move along at a breakneck speed, professionally, personally and socially. The importance of mindfulness is now understood in ways it hasn’t been previously, thus bringing mindfulness exercises to the forefront of many of our minds.
Mindfulness exercises are practices, routines and rituals that we partake in in an effort to bring relief from stress, to balance and ground ourselves in the present moment and to help us feel calm and at peace. This Harvard Health article details the many, many different benefits of mindfulness, the techniques you can focus on to achieve mindfulness and some of the different exercises you can employ to help yourself feel supported and at ease all day and night long. Here are three of the mindfulness benefits they tout:
Mindfulness improves well-being. Increasing your capacity for mindfulness supports many attitudes that contribute to a satisfied life. Being mindful makes it easier to savor the pleasures in life as they occur, helps you become fully engaged in activities, and creates a greater capacity to deal with adverse events. By focusing on the here and now, many people who practice mindfulness find that they are less likely to get caught up in worries about the future or regrets over the past, are less preoccupied with concerns about success and self-esteem, and are better able to form deep connections with others.
Mindfulness improves physical health. If greater well-being isn’t enough of an incentive, scientists have discovered that mindfulness techniques help improve physical health in a number of ways. Mindfulness can: help relieve stress, treat heart disease, lower blood pressure, reduce chronic pain, improve sleep, and alleviate gastrointestinal difficulties.
Mindfulness improves mental health. In recent years, psychotherapists have turned to mindfulness meditation as an important element in the treatment of a number of problems, including: depression, substance abuse, eating disorders, couples’ conflicts, anxiety disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISES TO START YOUR DAY ON THE RIGHT FOOT
If you’re new to mindfulness exercises, we’re including in this article some of the practices you can consider as part of your personal wellness routine, and the 100% natural and nature-derived products we believe can be in support of your goals each day.
To start the day feeling inspired and positive, try something called a body scan meditation. The idea is that you start at the top of your head or the bottom of your feet and you move slowly up and down the body, scanning each body part individually and noticing what you feel. You may notice that sensations arise in the body such as warmth, coolness, tingling and sometimes even discomfort. The simple act of noticing allows you to breathe into different parts of your body and to feel a deeper connection to them while you move your attention to different areas. For a heightened sensorial experience, try rolling on a grounding, deeply harmonizing product like our Yoga roll-on, formulated to help you find your center and practice mindfulness. Earthy patchouli invites peace while sweet orange helps relieve the nerves while lifting the mood. Apply behind the ears, along the sides of the neck and in the elbow creases.
Another mindfulness exercise for the morning time is a slow, intentional walk outdoors, surrounded by nature and with minimal distractions like traffic as much as possible. Walking is not only good for your body, it’s also good for your mind. Leave your headphones at home and really be present with your surroundings; reflect on the size of the trees in your neighborhood, listen to the chirping of birds and insects as they flutter by and breathe mindfully as you move. If you’re prone to waking up stiff or sore, try rolling on Pain Release before you leave the house. The warming and soothing essential oils of marjoram, rosemary and roman chamomile will help your muscles and tissues feel supported to move freely as you do.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISES TO HELP YOU UNWIND AFTER A LONG DAY
At the end of a long work day, it’s prudent to recalibrate your mind and body. It’s likely you’ve put in a good number of hours in front of your screens and in connection with others, which sometimes requires us to decompress and fill our cup sans anyone else.
When you want to wind down at the end of your day, we like to use a mindfulness exercise that Positive Psychology calls The Five Senses Exercise. Essentially, all that is needed is to notice something you are experiencing with each of the five senses, and it looks like this:
- Notice five things that you can see.
Look around you and bring your attention to five things that you can see. Pick something that you don’t normally notice, like a shadow or a small crack in the concrete.
- Notice four things that you can feel.
Bring awareness to four things that you are currently feeling, like the texture of your pants, the feeling of the breeze on your skin, or the smooth surface of a table you are resting your hands on.
- Notice three things you can hear.
Take a moment to listen, and note three things that you hear in the background. This can be the chirp of a bird, the hum of the refrigerator, or the faint sounds of traffic from a nearby road.
- Notice two things you can smell.
Bring your awareness to smells that you usually filter out, whether they’re pleasant or unpleasant. Perhaps the breeze is carrying a whiff of pine trees if you’re outside, or the smell of a fast-food restaurant across the street.
- Notice one thing you can taste.
Focus on one thing that you can taste right now, at this moment. You can take a sip of a drink, chew a piece of gum, eat something, notice the current taste in your mouth, or even open your mouth to search the air for a taste.
Because we are big believers in aromatherapy and the profound effect it has on our sense of smell, we like to run our favorite diffuser, the Aroma Om Stone with a peaceful and calming diffuser blend like Unwind, formulated with soothing lavender, bergamot to bring stillness to the mind and cinnamon for a warming, cozy feeling. Add 10-15 drops according to your preference and get ready to chill all the way out.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISES FOR A GOOD NIGHT'S REST
Sleep and mindfulness go hand in hand; the truth is, it’s difficult to have one without the other. We know that good quality sleep is paramount to optimal functioning of our other systems like our digestive system, our immune system and even the hormones that regulate our mood.
A mindfulness exercise we love to support us at bedtime is a specific type of guided meditation called progressive muscle relaxation. Essentially, this is a type of body scan as well, but you work your way up and down the body causing intentional flexing or constriction in individual muscles or areas, then releasing and allowing them to calm and settle. In progressive muscle relaxation you tense an area of the body as you breathe in and relax an area of your body as you breathe out. Not only can this help soothe and ease your physical body, it also helps encourage stillness in your mind as well, which is important to help set the tone for rest.
An essential oil product we love to support our nighttime routine is a roll-on called Sleep Well. Formulated with the powerfully calming properties of valerian root and vetiver alongside well-known sleep-supporters like lavender, roman chamomile and jasmine, this roll-on can be applied to the temples, throat, wrists and soles of the feet at bedtime to help you drift off to dreamland.
MINDFULNESS EXERCISES FOR MENTAL, EMOTIONAL AND SPIRITUAL WELL-BEING
Supporting your mental, emotional and spiritual well-being is really what mindfulness exercises are all about. In the same way you regularly brush and floss your teeth to maintain optimal dental hygiene, think of practices like meditation, deep breathing, journaling and therapy as regular maintenance for the continued health of your mind.
We created a wellness product called the Pocket Farmacy - Mindful Edition: to remind us that any moment can be made to be mindful. This kit includes five roll-ons, each of which have been carefully formulated to support the mind and body in finding energy to feel uplifted, relief from stress and a sense of peace, courage, confidence and a sense of gratitude in reflection and in connection.
Our favorite mindfulness exercise with these roll-ons is a breathing exercise we call the Saje Breath. Simply choose your favorite roll-on, apply generously to the palm of your freshly washed hand, rub your hands together vigorously to warm and activate the essential oils and create a cup shape with your hands. Place your hands over your nose and mouth and breathe deeply in through your nose and exhale slowly through your mouth. Repeat as desired to invite deep relaxation and a sense of balance.
LIFESTYLE TIPS FOR INCORPORATING MINDFULNESS EXERCISES INTO YOUR DAILY ROUTINE
People who regularly employ different mindfulness exercises report being generally happier, free from excessive worry and are better able to manage symptoms of stress. Here are a few ideas about how you can practice mindfulness in your daily life:
- Practice Acceptance. This means to accept your present circumstances and to accept the way things are now - not as we wish them to be. It helps to acknowledge that everything is or can be temporary, and that every moment provides another opportunity to change, grow, rebuild or tear down whatever it is that is keeping you from a state of mindfulness.
- Do one single thing at a time. Though we’ve come to glorify the act of being busy, there is something to be said for slowing right down. Doing one thing at a time allows us to do that one thing very well; multitasking can often leave us with half finished tasks and half hearted effort.
- Notice. Notice yourself getting distracted and having your attention pulled in different directions. Notice your shallow breathing as you try and multitask your way through another day. The simple act of noticing is sometimes enough to help pull us back into the present moment and realign with how we want to act, think and feel as we go about our day.
Mindfulness creates centered awareness.